Seen from Manchester Road in Stocksbridge, two locomotive stand at the side of the melting shop on a Saturday afternoon. This is the usual resting place for the two or three locomotives currently in regular use.
47 231 departs the Henholmes loop heading back to BR metals (away from the Photographer) after leaving a short rake of loaded scrap wagons in April 1993. This was the first year of mainline trains running over the Stocksbridge Railway viaducts to Henholmes in preference to the traditional 'Exchange Sidings'. It is thought that this change was made to allow full length trains to be handled without the need for them to be split, but the consequence of this was having to haul the loaded outgoing trains up to 1 in 23 climb from the point shown above over two viaducts into the former exchange sidings.
Use of a class 47 is unusual, as is a daytime train. The usual class 56s have been replaced by the new class 66s while the regular time of the daily train is between 23:00 & 04:00.
A complicated shunting maneuver by the works locomotive allows the mainline locomotive to bring the incoming wagons into the Henholmes loop, uncouple and run forward onto the outgoing wagons left on the S.R. mainline west of the loop and straddling the Little Don (river) bridge.
A more typical train, seen on an August evening, is class 56 hauled. This train is seen at the site of Deepcar Station, starting back to Sheffield.
Last locomotive in service that was delivered new to Stocksbridge is No.30, seen here pushing (or rather being pulled by - look at the coupling) Panzer car No.6 loaded with freshly cast steel ingots. This is one of the few remaining internal workings to use the railway.
The Panzer cars were built in the works using the bogies of casting cars from the Templeborough works. Stocksbridge has never used the type of casting car that can be hauled by locomotives to other parts of the works. This may be because of the fearsome gradient leading down from melting shop to the rolling mill.
Not long after its delivery, the only 0-4-0 diesel used in the works, No.22, was pushed down a gradient into a sand drag (designed to stop run-aways), out the back and finally coming to rest against an earth bank. Shortly after that the locomotive was transferred to Templeborough.
No.34, formally No.4 at Appleby Frodingham, is seen at the same time as No.30 above. Transfer of heavy loads over the steep gradients require a locomotive at the lower end for extra braking and in case of a break-away. Here No. 34 has run down directly in front of the train of Panzers before moving out of the way for No.30 to push the train the final few yards into the mill building.
It is not inconceivable that No.34 is the first Janus turned out by the Yorkshire Engine Company at Meadowhall in 1956
No. 35, originally No.12 at Appleby Frodingham, was already equipped with a larger air compressor for train air brakes, when photographed at Henholmes in February 1994. The locomotive as temporarily abandoned in the loop here following a derailment that left it with two badly damaged wheel flanges.
The story goes that the locomotive was taking the outgoing train down to the loop here (the exchange point with main line trains), after dark. It split the facing point (no lock fitted) and derailed. Fortunately the locomotive was left there over the weekend when it could be photographed in daylight.
The oval plate on the side of the cab is not a builders plate but a British Transport Commission Registration plate from 1967. These were required until the late 1980s when traffic to the works tip, via the BR sidings at Deepcar ceased.
No.36 in a truly industrial scene during 1997. This was the usual storage siding for locomotives that were not in day to day use. During 1999/2000 this locomotive was dismantled and written off, most parts being put in store for use as spares on the other locomotives.
No.37 was last of the locomotives to be transferred from Scunthorpe. The writer remembers first hearing and seeing No.37 while still in green livery (Scunthorpe colours or undercoat ?). These later locomotive had a distinctive 'growl' when first delivered, possibly because they had the more powerful turbo charged engines (Rolls Royce C6TFL).
No.38 is not only the most recent purchase for use at Stocksbridge but is also the last locomotive to be notionally owned by the Stocksbridge Railway Company.
Traditionally one locomotive had been allocated to the railway company, but this was stopped during the BSC era. However when this locomotive was introduced here, it did not carry a number but two cast steel 'Stocksbridge Railway Company' plates, taking up most of the cab side below the windows.
The Stocksbridge Railway Company had been retained as a subsidiary of BSC until the mid 1990s. When the railway company was finally dissolved No.38 lost the plates and gained its number.
Typical of any Works, Stocksbridge has (or had) a number of internal user wagons. This selection is seen just to the West of the Henholmes exchange point.
Stocksbridge works has had rail cranes for many years, firstly steam powered and then since the late 1950s Coles Diesel Electrics of the Ranger and Gladiator series (R3010 - 25 ton max capacity). Since the steel stock yards were converted to use rubber tyred 'side loaders' the cranes see little use but No.31 (separate numbering series from the locomotives) is seen earning its keep when the Henholmes loop was partially relayed with new pointwork at the west end in May 1993.
Just to the left of this photograph is the site of one of the old stock yards. A rail crane was employed here transferring steel between lorries, wagons and the storage area. More often than not it worked Sunday Mornings, regularly drowning out the preacher at the nearby Methodist Church.
Return to Other Industries Page